Issue: 1009

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
June 25, 2018

Top Stories

New Research Funded by Egg Industry Center Brings Total to $1 Million
The Egg Industry Center at ISU has awarded three new research grants, bringing its total for egg research funding to more than $1 million since 2013. “The Egg Industry Center is proud to help the industry address important questions by investing over $1 million in research grants in the past five years,” said Hongwei Xin, director of the center and CALS assistant dean for research. The latest recipients of Egg Industry Center grants are below. More

  • Pennsylvania State University, for research into the infectiveness, transmission and response to disinfectant treatment of three emerging strains of disease-causing avian reovirus.
  • Mississippi State University, for a study on the use of robots for the collection of floor eggs in open-housing systems and the effect of the robot’s presence on behavior of birds.
  • Iowa State University, for research examining how different housing systems affect gastrointestinal bacterial communities and overall bird health.


Agronomist Part of Team Receiving Inaugural U-TuRN Grant
Laura Merrick, agronomy, Linda Shenk, English, and Kristie Franz, geology and atmospheric sciences, are one of six interdisciplinary research teams selected to receive funding from ISU's inaugural U-TuRN (Translational Research Network) internal funding opportunity. Their research will focus on community engagement in water quality monitoring in the Worrell Creek watershed upstream and downstream of the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, which is a new Story County Conservation park under development in the ISU Research Park. More

Ensuring the Safety and Quality of Fresh-cut Produce
Food safety and quality control are critical aspects of food security and human health.  An impacts article has been released from the multistate research project Quality and Safety of Fresh-cut Vegetables and Fruits. Researchers from 14 land-grant universities are collaborating with USDA and international institutions to find innovative solutions to these issues. ISU researchers on the multistate team from the food science and human nutrition department are Angela Shaw, Byron Brehm-Stecher, Terri Boylston, Lester Wilson and Aubrey Mendonca. More

New Biopolymer Processing Facility at BCRF
Researchers are working with the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, the Iowa Soybean Association, United Soybean Board, USDA and 10 other companies to explore the applications and uses of bioadvantaged polymers. These biopolymers are able to be partially produced with renewable resources. A new biopolymer processing facility at the BioCentury Research Farm will allow the research teams to manufacture material for demonstration projects nationwide. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Welcomes George Washington Carver Summer Interns
The CALS George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program provides an opportunity for multicultural students to conduct research under the guidance of CALS research faculty members. It additionally provides opportunities for the interns to grow both personally and professionally through various activities. There are 17 interns this summer. More

CALS Student Becomes the Teacher at Dairy Farm Open House
Ben Butikofer, junior in dairy science, has been working at the ISU Dairy Farm since the fall of his freshman year. Typically his work includes milking, breeding cows and other jobs on the farm. He stepped into the role of teacher June 8 for the Dairy Farm's annual open house in celebration of Dairy Month. More  

Extension and Outreach

Field Day Season Continues at ISU Research Farms
Field day season continues at the ISU Research Farms. They provide the opportunity to view the latest in modern agriculture. Summer field days typically cover topics from corn and soybeans to vegetables. More

Iowa Monarch Conservation Summit and Field Day Scheduled July 13
The 2018 Iowa Monarch Conservation Summit and Field Day is scheduled for July 13 at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab in Boone, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about the ongoing ISU field demonstrations and collaborations statewide. Registration is available online. More

Around the College

Committee for Agricultural Development Celebrates 75th Anniversary
The Committee for Agricultural Development, an affiliate of ISU CALS, celebrated its 75th anniversary with the annual board of trustees meeting followed by a tour of CAD farms in Story and Boone Counties. Today, CAD owns about 3,000 acres and markets soybean seed from ISU researchers. Beginning as an organized business-like approach for distributing improved ISU technologies (seed, livestock, etc.) to Iowa farmers in 1943, CAD also helps acquire and maintain land for current and future needs of the college. Much of the land now used for ISU Research Farms in central Iowa was once owned by CAD, including the Horticulture Research Station, the ISU Dairy Farm and the Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm. For a copy of the CAD history, contact Sally Medford,

Students Honor Acker for Work on CSRL Training Center
David Acker, CALS associate dean for academic and global programs, was honored by students and faculty in the horticulture department at its annual spring banquet for his leadership in building the Mpirigiti Training Center in Kamuli, Uganda. Acker committed hours of his professional and personal time to facilitating the completion of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods facility that will fundamentally transform the programs in Kamuli. Students presented a video, a student-created watercolor painting of the Mpirigiti tree and a basket of thank-you notes to Acker. More

Laws Receives Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Editor’s Choice Award
Lynn Laws, research program coordinator for the Agricultural Experiment Station, is the 2018 recipient of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Editor’s Choice Award. The award recognizes her 2017 article, “Agricultural Sustainability: Five Midwestern Row Crop Farmers Share their Views.” The article was part of the Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project, a $20 million USDA NIFA-funded research project led by Lois Wright Morton, sociology, that involved 10 Midwestern land-grant universities and a USDA agricultural research station. More

Assistant Professor Earns Funded Project Early in Career
Brett Ramirez, agricultural and biosystems engineering, joined ISU on January 1. Just 51 days into his career, Ramirez earned his first funded project as a faculty member and principal investigator. The one-year project started in early spring and is co-sponsored by Iowa Cage-Free and the Center for Industrial Research and Service. Ramirez is conducting research at a new two-story cage-free laying hen facility built by ICF. More

Two Retirements in GDCB
Harry (Jack) Horner, university professor in genetics, development and cell biology, and Linda Wild, program coordinator in GDCB, will both retire on June 30. No public events are scheduled.


June 25: Metagenomics Mondays Seminar Series Continues
The Metagenomics Mondays summer seminar series will continue today, June 25, at 12 to 1 p.m. in 0013 Curtiss Hall, with a presentation by Larry Halverson, plant pathology and microbiology, on shifting soil and rhizosphere microbiomes to more robust interconnected communities. The weekly seminar series will run through July 30 and include speakers from veterinary sciences, plant sciences, microbiology, statistics, data science, engineering and more. More

June 28: Iowa Farmland Ownership Tenure Survey Released
The results of the 2017 Iowa Farmland Ownership Tenure Survey conducted by ISU Extension and Outreach will be announced June 28 at 10 a.m. in the Horton Room of the ISU Alumni Center. Wendong Zhang and Alejandro Plastina, economics, will announce the findings. A YouTube livestream will be available for those unable to attend. Full results of the survey will be available on the CARD website after the conference.

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

Webinar: USDA’s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools Initiative
The USDA AFRI Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools initiative seeks to catalyze activities that harness big data for synthesizing new knowledge, making predictive decisions and fostering data-supported innovation in agriculture. Funded projects will examine the value and impact of data in agriculture. A webinar will be held on June 27 at 1 p.m. to provide a description of FACT and its priorities, information about the application process and tips for developing a competitive proposal. More

USDA NIFA Grant Opportunities for Global Engagement
USDA NIFA provides a list of the requests for applications that offer opportunities for global engagement. The current list includes the AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program, AFRI Foundational Program and NSF - NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program, among others. More

USDA Seeks Feedback on Updates to NIFA Policy Guide
USDA NIFA is seeking stakeholder feedback on updates to the NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide. The guide describes the statutory and regulatory responsibilities of recipients of NIFA grants. Separate webinars will be offered for competitive and capacity grants. The webinars will cover the new structure, enhanced navigability features, labeling of sections for audience applicability, and new sections and information (e.g. allowable costs). The webinar for competitive grantees is scheduled for June 26 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens, Additional information is posted at CALS Pre-Award Resources.

Continuous: NSF Innovation Corps - National Innovation Network Teams Program; proposals accepted anytime with a cognizant NSF Program Officer's invitation. More

Aug. 1 (letter of intent): McKnight Foundation Mississippi River Program; $25,000 to $225,000, contact ISU Foundation ( with interest. More

Sept. 10: OECD Research Fellowships and Conference Sponsorship; themes are managing natural capital for the future, managing risks in a connected world, and transformational technologies and innovation. More

Sept. 15 (invited proposals): Organic Valley - Farmers Advocating for Organic; average grants are $20,000, academic/research institutions are eligible. More

Oct. 1: NATO Science for Peace and Security. More

Communications Kiosk

ARS Captures Science in Action with New Featured Photos Page
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service is posting on a weekly basis high-resolution images depicting science in action – from mites magnified thousands of times their size, to fluffy, wide-eyed chicks. The images, captured by professional photographers with the ARS Office of Communications, are in the public domain and available for download. More


Floating Islands Project Expands on Water Quality Research
The sustainable environments interdisciplinary graduate program’s floating islands research project has returned to ISU’s Lake LaVerne for the first summer since 2015. While the project still measures nutrient uptake from the water, this year’s research adds pollinator plants to determine if floating islands could also help threatened insects such as bees and butterflies. More

Soil Health Institute Releases Education Resources Catalog
The Soil Health Institute has released a Soil Health Education Resources Catalog. It provides quick links to existing soil health resources – developed by public and private sector organizations – organized by audience and subject matter to help develop soil health lesson plans and demonstrations for students and adults. More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday.


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